This Wednesday, our school organized an activity to make the ultimate traditional Chinese food- Dumplings. These include dough, used to roll the skins. The next step is preparing the filling. Next is cooking, and then, of course, popular dipping sauces. As one of the most symbolic food on Chinese table, Chinese dumplings are the most popular food for Chinese New Year all over the country. They can be further divided into three types based on the cooking method.
Types of Dumplings
In China, when we talk about dumplings, we’re usually referring to boiled ones (or shui jiao, 水饺). Not potstickers, not steamed, but boiled ones. We consider it a staple, a delicious alternative to rice and noodles. You might think boiled dumplings are not as tasty as potstickers. After all, potstickers have a nicely charred surface and crispy texture and look great, right? But to us, boiled dumplings are the ultimate comfort food that we eat every week. They’re super delicious if you make them the right way.
Boiled dumplings (水饺): for Chinese, dumplings are boiled in most cases, not pot-stickers and steamed dumplings. In northern provinces, these are considered as the staple food all year around.
Pan-fried potstickers 锅贴 are crispy and chewier than boiled dumplings. Potstickers are popular across the country mainly as street foods or side dishes.
Steamed dumplings (蒸饺) are less famous compared with the two types above. In China, they are mainly served as side dish, dim sum or breakfast.
Making Dumplings can be harder than it looks, there are few failed examples of course, but its also part of the fun!
Making dumplings with family members is one of the most important family activities for celebrating Chinese New Year in Northern provinces. All family members contribute to a healthy, well-balanced and rich in flavor dumpling dish.
A Common Activity at our School
The older generation with more experience in dumpling-making does the most of the preparation work- including making great-tasting fillings and a wrapper dough with an appropriate hardness. When the party begins, someone starts to roll the skins and all of the others help to wrap them. Teamwork is always fun and rewarding. Everyone is get involved and everyone express their blessings to other family members. Everyone is enjoying the precious family reunion time and looking forward to the next “get together” party.